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Two sailors from sunken ship in Black Sea survive - TV

29.09.2008 Source: en.rian.ru

Two sailors from the Tolstoy cargo ship that sank off the Bulgarian coast early on Saturday have survived while others are still missing, Russian TV news channel Vesti 24 reported on Sunday.

The Ukrainian ship sailing a North Korean flag sank about 04.00 local time some 10-15 miles off the Bulgarian coast.

According to Vesti 24, the two seamen managed to sail to the Bulgarian coast and called the rescue service.

The Bulgarian transport ministry said the ship's crew included 10 seamen - the Russian captain and nine Ukrainians. However, a port official from the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, from which the ship had sailed, earlier said there were 13 crewmembers.

A rescue operation involving Bulgarian helicopters is ongoing in the disaster area. However, the operation is hampered by bad weather. Bulgarian rescuers say there is little chance to find the sailors alive as sea water temperature is very low.

The 138-meter-long cargo vessel was carrying scrap metal from Rostov-on-Don in Russia to Nemrut in Turkey.

The ship has reportedly been in service for 37 years and was recently cited for numerous technical problems.

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